People have often asked me the following question: why become a cop? It's not just my friends that have asked me that, but even the people on the street that I interact with that are genuinely curious about the job of policing.
Sure, I often mention the typical answers. You know, the standard stuff that you would expect, such as job security, helping members of the community, etc etc etc.
That's the standard and general stuff that gets mentioned when you go and speak to a police recruiter. But people often ask me for "off the record" type answers..
Well, I'm never quite sure how to answer that. It's as if they are looking for some kind of magic word or maybe a secret hand shake, or the "wink and the nod" that will give them the final push into helping them decide that a career as a cop is what they really want.
This website has a section in it called "being a cop". In it, I've listed a few benefits of this job.
In this section of the site, I guess the best thing to do would be to just list some things that might be unofficial answers to the question: why become a cop ?
One reason is that depending on the size of the department, there will always be openings and opportunities for advancement. When the senior officers in your department eventually retire, it always creates chances for promotion.
In some occupations and jobs, opportunities may not come up for years, but if you are part of a large Police department, people will retire every year, which creates a string of opportunities very regularly.
Another reason is that within each department, there are plenty of different areas and specializations that you can get into.
You could, in fact, potentially move from one area to another area every couple of years.
It's almost like getting a new job within your job without having the stress of being unemployed between the two.
Another answer to the question, why become a cop is...
Well, ...... How about the cool equipment? At least, that's the answer that a lot of people on the street actually seem to want to hear or talk about.
Nobody ever comes right out and asks about it though. They kind of tip toe around the question and beat around the bush by saying stuff like :
"they sure give you a lot of pouches to put on your belt." Or, "wow, your equipment must be heavy to carry."
Of course they're eyeballing and staring at the gun belt while they say it.
Of course that can be a bit unnerving as well, because eyeballing your pistol is actually an indicator that someone may be getting ready to go for your sidearm. (If someone is staring at your pistol, it should be considered a red flag)
Hmmm... what else....
Unlike many jobs, if you become a cop, you're not stuck inside sitting at a desk (unless you choose to take a spot inside.) You're mobile going from one place to another and get to see lots of different things and interact with lots of different people.
How about the respect that you earn as a cop. Now, believe me, there are many people out there that will HATE YOUR GUTS when they find out what you do for a living. To those people...fuck em.
They're not worth your time.
But many people will recognize what you do for society. They will respect the fact that you put yourself at risk to help others every time that you go to work, and that they can count on you to help them in a crisis when nobody else will.
For the guys reading this, one more answer... the chicks dig the uniform.
HA HA HA. Sorry, I had to throw that one in here. It's just a joke. But, make sure that you read the section "cop fetish". It lists a few issues and some things to think about when it comes to badge bunnies and cop groupies that you may want to make yourself aware of.
Another "unofficial" benefit or perk of being a cop is also the ability to "tin" or "badge" your way into some places.
If you are discreet and approach security or the bouncer at a club or bar and let him know that you're a cop, you'll often get to bypass any line or cover charge before getting inside.
Now, let's be honest. Is it really a big deal, getting to bypass a lineup? Not really. It's definitely not an answer that should highlight the question, "why become a cop ?"
But is it a perk? To some people, I'd say yes it probably is...
Oh, and you have your share of "professional courtesy." Maybe you're driving along the road or highway a little faster than you should. Or maybe you rolled through that stop sign without coming to a complete and full stop.
If you get stopped by a fellow police officer, you may be able to benefit from that "professional courtesy." After all, when you open your wallet to get your drivers license, the officer may just happen to notice the badge.
That's about all that I'm going to say about that. It may not be kosher with internal affairs if they discover that an officer gave another officer a break just because he's a fellow cop.
It's nice to have, but I would say just don't make a habit of driving like a fool on a regular basis...
One more answer to the question, why become a cop , is that Police Departments generally have very good pension plans and the eligibility for retirement generally comes sooner for a police officer than for someone working a job in the private sector.
Each department will be a little bit different, but 20 -25 years service generally means you are eligible...